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Globalisation and Minor Cultural Groups

The role of so-called minority people in rethinking the future of modern societies

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Publié le lundi 03 décembre 2012 par Elsa Zotian

Résumé

Minority groups, whose way of life has historically suffered from globalization, are often cited as victims of global processes, but they are rarely studied for the techniques or technologies of accommodation and resistance they have implemented as a response to global processes— the most devastating of these processes being colonization in its various aspects. Indeed, globalist literature does not yet offer a conceptualization or theorizing of the social, cultural, political and territorial continuity of “minorized” cultures, let alone does it afford enough analytical space to these so-called cultural minorities in the process of questioning the values and practices of globalization. Therefore, this conference will participate in building more connections between different experiences  in order to think up the best alternatives to the global economic and political system in place and to the way of life brought about by global phenomena which do not work anymore. 

Annonce

Argument

The contemporary international reflection on the relationship between minority/ethnic groups and globalization—a relationship presented as a dialectical / dialogical one—offers today new and hybrid perspectives on the challenges of globalization. The texts which deal with this relationship are characterized by the multifarious connections they formulate between a multiplicity of knowledge areas, the intervention of viewpoints from different fields of study (literature, history, philosophy, sociology, political theory, international relations, etc.). This variety of perspectives that serve to highlight the local and global issues of minority cultures allows for a diversification of the topics addressed by “mainstream” global studies literature and encourages the development of new strands of reflection which have not been given enough space so far in the literature that evaluates and critiques globalization phenomena. The inclusion of these new, “minor” perspectives from across the globe in the reflection on globalization will serve to expand the analysis on, and illuminate certain aspects of, specific global phenomena (economic, social, cultural, etc.).

Minority groups, whose way of life has historically suffered from globalization, are often cited as victims of global processes, but they are rarely studied for the techniques or technologies of accommodation and resistance they have implemented as a response to global processes—the most devastating of these processes being colonization in its various aspects. Indeed, globalist literature does not yet offer a conceptualization or theorizing of the social, cultural, political and territorial continuity of “minorized” cultures, let alone does it afford enough analytical space to these so-called cultural minorities in the process of questioning the values and practices of globalization. For that reason, the purpose of our symposium on the link between globalization and “minor” cultural groups is to bring to the forefront of global studies these new perspectives that address the relationship between globalization and the experiences of cultural minorities worldwide. these literatures that take into account the perspectives that prove crucial in the necessary process of questioning contemporary global values and practices, as well as complicating current debates on the causes, consequences, future of globalization processes in the fields of politics, education, culture, the economy, etc. 

These new literatures on the relationship between globalization and minority cultures seek to reformulate this relationship on new bases by relying on the possibilities of a cross-cultural exchange between different, not to say oppositional, praxes. The goal here is to develop new theories and practices of transculturality that seek to link different theoretical and cultural spheres (mainstream and minorized) in order to formulate new global discussions about appropriate responses to give in defiance of the adverse effects of globalization (such responses could be a review and critique of the theoretical foundations of globalization and the subsequent formulation of more humane and humanist theoretical bases to global practices).

The historical theme of structural continuity, a crucial theme in the literature about ethnic resistance to the colonizing process, has been taken up by citizens of nation-states who, given the global crisis in progress, are looking for ways to survive and resist a whole network of anti-democratic and destructive global projects, while at the same time relying on constructive global practices (such as technologies of communication which are means to publicize the many instances of political, economic and cultural violence worldwide qua consequences of global processes which need to be unveiled and analyzed ). It is therefore appropriate to reflect upon the links, the common features, the possibilities for developing collaborative projects between ethnic and mainstream anti-globalization movements in the fight against the deleterious aspects and effects of globalization.

The point is not to idealize or glorify the experiences of minority cultures in the face of change, nor is it to question the value of existing reflections on globalization that are rooted in the history and experience of mainstream cultural groups. The point is to strike more connections between different experiences in order to think up the best alternatives to the global economic and political system in place and to the way of life brought about by global phenomena which do not work anymore. These alternatives may be influenced by the lessons learned from local cultural practices and experiences which can influence positively global systems and help so-called modern societies to question the political, economic and cultural ontology of the present world order.

Specific themes

  • From a theoretical standpoint, a crucial step in highlighting the link between globalization and minority experiences is probably the formulation of a critique of globalization’s Eurocentric, metropolitan philosophical bases. These theoretical tools, under colonial rule, have participated in the physical destruction or weakening of minority cultures worldwide. The philosophical bases upon which Europeans relied to justify colonization (and which remain today, for some, national treasures) are being seriously questioned today by ethnic literatures (with, for example, the development of Native American critical theories in the United States). This international symposium can provide a platform for an overview of the resistance literature in that rather theoretical area. It would be interesting to see how traditional and modern ethnic philosophies from around the world participate in the critique of dominant theories, from various areas (politics, the economy, culture, etc.) which have induced the development and endurance of globalization processes, and how these other philosophies can participate in the development of new political, economic, cultural practices that are more democratic and thus beneficial to modern societies. This theme, a matter of primary interest to ethnologists, should be explored from cultural, socio-political and economic perspectives in a diversity of geopolitical spaces.
  • An important aspect of globalization has been, and still is, the development of international law. Can this legislation and the official international bodies that issue it (both the products of the relationship between autochthonous Americans and European settlers, the products of colonization) participate today in the anti-globalization effort? Can it happen/is it happening thanks to the influence of NGOs that defend the rights of native people around the world and challenge the current colonialist international and national legislation that defines (or refuses to define) indigenous statuses) ? Can the law really be a carrier of change, equality, prosperity for ethnic groups, and participate in the redefinition of national and international priorities in terms of economic and cultural governance.
  • It would be useful to evaluate the current situation in terms of the influence of globalization on ethnic groups around the world. We will, of course, have to focus on specific geopolitical areas in the Americas, Africa or the Pacific area, and look at how, depending on the political and economic situation of the nations that "harbor" them, minority groups have managed, with varying degrees of success, to limit the effects of globalization on their culture--to live with certain aspects of globalization, to take advantage of some and to resist others. We won’t forget to mention native cultures that were unable to resist global practices but can still teach us a lot about the potentially annihilating aspects of globalization.
  • As a follow-up to the previous paragraph/line of inquiry, it would be interesting to study how contemporary ethnic writers root their reflection on the future of their people into very practical problems related to land, culture, the needs of their communities; how they engage explicitly in analyzing the political, economic, cultural, social realities of their communities; how this literature grounded in  land and territory can help national communities to develop different modes of organization for modern societies. What values / discourses / national and global practices (the two adjectives being used interchangeably here since nations follow the methods of governance dictated by international prerogatives and institutions) are challenged by international ethnic literatures? How do these literatures contribute to the reflection on the methods of resistance to capitalist domination and a global value system based on profit?  What can studying social systems that offer different models of community governance, a different organization of the economy and land management which go against the concepts of privatization and capitalization of human resources and land, contribute to this reflection? How do these writers participate in the critique of cultural capitalism, ideological hegemonies (the idea of a unique cultural model) promoted by globalization? How can the instruments of literary/cultural analysis qua global methodology of thinking (a methodology known as “critical theory”) in the approach to texts can benefit from and be articulated with other theories of being in the world, so as to give birth to new forms of theories, new methodologies of reading texts and cultures that are connected, transcultural?
  • What are the specific mediational strategies --that is to say strategies that connect different perspectives, different views, mainstream and “minor”, presented in various disciplines (sociology, anthropology, history, etc.)—that bring to the attention of mainstream culture these other discourses that seek to question the ways in which global practices have homogenized our view of the world, its values and representations?
  • Etc.

Submission guidelines

The proposal should be about 250 words.

Send your proposals to Roxana Bauduin (Roxana.bauduin@uvsq.fr) et Sophie Croisy (sophie.croisy@uvsq.fr)

before February 28, 2013

Participants can communicate in one of the three following languages: English, French, Spanish

The conference will take place at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Library auditorium, Vauban Boulevard, Guyancourt, from the 19th to the 21st of June, 2013.

It is organized by the research group “Suds d’Amériques, Espaces  Atlantiques”--UVS

Scientific committee

A committee composed of six researchers from the SUDS (Suds d’Amériques, Espaces Atlantiques) research group at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines will evaluate the proposals for the conference.

Here is the list of the six evaluators:

  • Sophie Croisy, associate professor specialized in Native American literature, SUDS research group, University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
  • Roxana Bauduin, assistant professor specialized in Francophone African literatures, SUDS research group, UVSQ.
  • Jacques Pothier, professor specialized in American Literature from the South of the United States, director of the SUDS research group, UVSQ.
  • Adrien Rodd, associate professor specialized in the history of the Pacific, SUDS research group, UVSQ.
  • Lise Guilhamon, associate professor specialized in Anglophone Indian literature, SUDS research group, UVSQ.
  • Céline Peigné, associate professor specialized in South African studies, SUDS research group, UVSQ.

Lieux

  • Library Auditorium - 47 boulevard Vauban
    Guyancourt, France (78)

Dates

  • jeudi 28 février 2013

Mots-clés

  • ethnic studies, globalization, minority cultures

Contacts

  • Croisy Sophie
    courriel : sophie [dot] croisy [at] uvsq [dot] fr

URLS de référence

Source de l'information

  • Croisy Sophie
    courriel : sophie [dot] croisy [at] uvsq [dot] fr

Pour citer cette annonce

« Globalisation and Minor Cultural Groups », Appel à contribution, Calenda, Publié le lundi 03 décembre 2012, http://calenda.org/226055